Faculty Scholarly Dissemination Grants


The Impact of the Demand for Evaluation on Professional Fundraisers


School of Public, NonProfit & Health Administration


College of Community and Public Service

Date Range



Nonprofit organizations continue to face increasing demands for accountability concerning the efficiency and effectiveness of their programs from external stakeholders. As a result, program evaluation has increasingly become a component in grant and other funding applications. This trend presents a challenge to fundraisers for determining what role program evaluation information has in their fundraising efforts, as they seek new strategies and methods to acquire the resources for their organizations. This mixed method study incorporates a structured, national, online survey supplemented by several regional focus groups that draw from the population of U.S. based members of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). It examines how fundraisers view program evaluation; attempt to meet this demand, and how they may play in helping build their organization's capacity to evaluate their programs. Preliminary results reveal that professional fundraisers view program evaluation as important to their work, specifically their ability to raise funds; they have the potential to effectively help their organization build evaluation capacity through internal advocacy to the organization's leadership; some have incorporated effective strategies to meet external stakeholders' demands for evaluation; and they view their relationships with program staff as important for understanding how their programs are delivered and managed, and for acquiring program-related information they use for their fundraising efforts. These results have implications not only for professional fundraisers, but ultimately for the leaders and managers of nonprofits who compete for resources and desire to increase evaluation capacity to be sustainable and satisfy their missions.

Conference Name

Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research

Conference Location

Waterloo, Ontario

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